Leon Austin, 80, of Athens, TN., passed away Monday, February 25, 2013.
He started his tenure with the Bradley County School System in 1957 where he taught at Bradley Central High School. He moved to the Administrative Offices and served in several positions including Assistant Superintendent to Bill Walker. He was also assistant women’s basketball coach with Jim Smiddy during the years 1964 thru 1976, winning 4 state championships. He also served 12 years as a county commissioner where he was instrumental in getting the Tri-State Exhibition Center going and helping to defeat the proposed landfill in the Sixth District in Bradley County. He served on the boards of Bradley Memorial Hospital and Bradley County Nursing home. Leon was a 1950 graduate of the Bradley Central High School. In 1951 he joined the Air Force and served during the Korean War. After being discharged from active duty he served in the Air Force Reserves for 10 years.His passion was horses being a well known trainer of Racking Horses and Hackney Ponies. He trained a 7 time World Grand Champion Racking Horse named “Little Man”. He was a member of the Keith Memorial United Methodist Church in Athens.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Cavett Austin; his parents, William Albert and Nellie Bell Austin; brothers, Roy and Bill Austin; a sister, Martha Ann Mullins; and a special great-aunt, Jamie Hankins.
He is survived by his wife, Anne Catron Austin of Athens; his daughter, Patty Phillips and her husband Barry of Cleveland; sons, Greg Austin and his wife Pam of Athens and Gary Austin and his wife Shelley of Cleveland; grandchildren, Paige Goins, Dustin Phillips, Amanda Miller, Kelley Ann Austin, Cameron Austin, Chase Austin, Rollins Austin, Abram Austin, Caleb Pierce, Callie Pierce, Harrison Kincaid and Onise Cox; great-grandchildren, Gabe Phillips, Andrew Bunch, Jacob Phillips, Hunter Goins, Morgan Miller and Alden Miller; step-daughters, Staci Lynne Catron of Atlanta and Sara Catron-Cox of Knoxville; sisters, Carlene Branham of Benton and Betty Johnson of Cleveland; several nieces and nephews; and a special friend, John Hayes.
A Remembrance of Life service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, February 28 at the North Chapel of the Jim Rush Funeral Homes with Rev. Dennie Humphreys of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church officiating.
The family will have visitation at the funeral home Thursday, February 28 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
The family requests that you make a donation to the charity of your choice in memory of Leon.
There will be a private burial service at a later date.
Jim Rush Funeral Home has charge of the arrangements.